Legislation

AFLCIO Right to Work BAnner
The Wisconsin State Senate voted 17 to 15 last week in favor of SB44, the so-called Right to Work Law law. Only one Republican, a former union member, joined all Democratic senators in voting against the anti-union law that the Republican leadership has rushed through an “extraordinary session.”

This week, the Assembly takes up its version of the legislation: AB61

A message from the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Join us at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Monday, March 2, 2015 to pack the Assembly Committee on Labor, Room 417 North, as the public hearing on so-called Right to Work legislation begins. We need everyone who supports unions and a strong middle class to register and testify to tell legislators on the Committee how Right to Work legislation will impact your job site, your community and your family.

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AFLCIO Right to Work BAnner

A message from Local 243 Secretary-Treasurer Mike Lussenden: Please join us at noon tomorrow — Saturday, February 28, 2015 — at the State Street Side of the Capitol to stand in solidaity with our friends in private sector unions against this so-called “Right to Work” legislation being fast-tracked through the Wiscosnin Legislature.

Private sector unions stood with us as we battled Act 10. Now, we can support the labor movement for all of Wisconsin!

“Thousands of working families have been coming to the Capitol this week to detail the impact of Right to Work legislation on their lives,” reports the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “Workers have been speaking up and making it clear to their elected officials that Right to Work will lower wages for all, decrease workplace safety, destroy long-standing training programs that give workers valuable skills and make it harder Wisconsin to feed their families, pay their bills, and have a shot at a decent life.”

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Right to WorkAfter restricting collective bargaining for most public-employee unions, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature is poised to pass so-called “right to work legislation that is targeted at private sector unions.

“Right to work” sounds like a good idea. But in reality, these laws have nothing to do with providing rights or work,” says Jobs with Justice, a nonprofit organization leading strategic campaigns and shaping the public discourse on every front to build power for working people. “Right-to-work laws make it optional for workers protected by a union contract to help pay for the expenses that the union incurs while guaranteeing the rights of all employees. Why is that a big deal? By limiting unions’ resources and weakening the ability of workers to have a say about their jobs, these laws drive down everyone’s wages, benefits, and overall living standards.”

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Wisconsin Capitol in winterA message from Kim Kohlhaas, President, AFT-Wisconsin:

Dear AFT-Wisconsin members,

When Scott Walker “dropped the bomb” on us in 2011, our sisters and brothers in the private sector were on the front lines with us from the start. Members from the building trades marched alongside schoolteachers, steelworkers stood shoulder to shoulder with state employees, and communications workers stood with university workers. Even though Walker thought he could divide and conquer us by pitting the public sector against the private sector, we showed him the basic truth of our movement: an injury to one is an injury to all. Now, it’s our turn to stand with our union brothers and sisters in the private sector as they face Walker’s latest attack on Wisconsin’s working families: fast-tracked so-called “right to work” legislation meant to drive down wages for working Wisconsinites and increase profits for Walker’s wealthy donors.

We all know that so-called “right to work” is a lie—everyone already has the right to work where they choose and the right to join a union if they wish to. What this is really about is making it harder for workers to organize themselves and level the playing field with their bosses. Republican leaders are nervous about keeping enough votes in the legislature to pass this bill, which is why it’s being fast-tracked. This means our window for action is open right now: sign the Wisconsin AFL-CIO petition opposing right to work, call your legislator at 1-800-362-9472, and spread the word among your friends and family – please share this action link from the Wisconsin AFL-CIO through Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail. If you’re near Madison or Milwaukee, there are phone banks happening every day between Saturday and Wednesday: see below for details and contact information. And on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 and Wednesday, February 25, 2015 we will be rallying at noon in Madison at the Capitol alongside our sisters and brothers in the private sector to stand up for union rights.

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Wisconsin last state for Medicaid IndianaCitizen Action of Wisconsin, an issue focused coalition of individuals and organizations (including man labor unions) committed to achieving social, economic, and environmental justice, issued the following press release on January 28, 2015 explaining that Wisconsin is now the only state in the Great Lakes region to refuse enhanced federal dollars to strengthen its Medicaid program:

Update (2/2/2015): Citizen Action of Wisconsin distributed this important information today via Twitter: Sen. Luther Olsen to push discussions in GOP caucus to accept federal Medicaid money! ADD YOUR NAME in support: http://fb.me/70aTlySX4

Less than a week before Governor Walker releases his state budget [on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015], Indiana’s Republican Governor reached a deal Tuesday to accept enhanced federal dollars to strengthen its Medicaid program.

Indiana’s forward step puts additional pressure on Governor Walker to take the federal money to strengthen the state’s popular and successful BadgerCare program. Wisconsin is the only state in the Great Lakes region to refuse the dollars, now that Republican Governors in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana have all moved forward.

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Wisconsin Legislature studying ways to replace local control of technical colleges

August 5, 2014

The Wisconsin Legislature may not be in session, but that doesn’t mean that there are no important activities taking place under the State Capitol Dome. The current Republican-dominated Wisconsin Legislature is discussing ways to replace local control of technical colleges by centralizing decision-making power in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). The 2014 Legislative Council […]

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